Jury finds evidence of bombs in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy trial

Grand Rapids, Mich. ( Associated Press) — Juries entered a fifth day of deliberations Friday with Pennies, who was presented as evidence of explosives earlier in the trial of four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A court employee handed over a large plastic bag known as Exhibit 291. The pennies were requested before the gamblers went home on Thursday.

“If you want something different or something extra, let us know,” said US District Judge Robert Jonker. “We wish you all the best in your continued discussions.”

The jury is considering 10 charges in the case: one against Brandon Caserta, two against Adam Fox, three against Barry Croft Jr. and four against Daniel Harris. All the men face the main charge of kidnapping conspiracy; Other cases relate to explosives and a firearm.

Investigators said pennies taped to a commercial-grade firework were intended to act like pellets.

According to evidence, a homemade explosive was detonated during training in September 2020, about a month before the men were arrested.

In his closing argument on April 1, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler stated that Croft wanted to test explosives as a potential weapon to use against Whitmer’s security team. He quoted her as saying that the pennies would be so hot that they could “go through your skin”.

The trial now covers 20 days from March 8, including jury selection, evidence, final arguments and jury deliberations.

Prosecutors offered the testimony of undercover agents, a key informant and two men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Jury members also read and listened to secretly recorded conversations, violent social media posts and chat messages.

Prosecutors said the group was steeped in anti-government militancy and was angered by Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions.

However, defense lawyers said any plan was a creation of government agents who joined the group and molested the men.

Croft Bear is from Delaware, while the others are from Michigan.

Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely spoke publicly about the conspiracy, although she did mention “surprises” during her tenure that seemed like “something out of imagination” when she spoke again on March 17. filed for election.

She has accused former President Donald Trump of inciting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists like those accused in the case.


Watch the Associated Press’s full coverage of the Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy trial here: https://apnews.com/hub/whitmer-kidnap-plot-trial


White reported from Detroit.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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